'Raped' Libyan woman flees to Qatar
DOHA - A woman who accused soldiers of Libya's leader Moamer Gathafi of having raped her has escaped to Qatar with the help of rebels, a Libyan rebel official said on Monday.
"Iman al-Obeidi was able to leave Libya through Al-Jabal al-Gharbi with the help of rebels," the official said, asking not to be named. She had escaped through a mountainous area southwest of Tripoli, near the border with Tunisia.
The official of the Transitional National Council, the political arm of the anti-Gathafi revolt, said the young woman was in Doha, an ally of the rebel movement, where she would meet the press in coming days.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch appealed on her behalf last month.
After a petition demanding her release, Obeidi said in telephone interviews that she was freed but not allowed to leave Libya. A doctor had examined her and supported her claims of rape and torture.
Obeidi attracted international media attention when she stormed into the Rixos hotel on March 26, threw open her coat to reveal scars and bruises on her body to expose her ordeal.
But as she screamed: "Film me, film me, show the whole world all they did to me," she was dragged off by security guards amid scenes of mayhem as journalists' efforts to intervene were shoved aside.
Obeidi said she had been stopped at a Tripoli checkpoint because she was from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya. "They tied me up and abused me for two days," she said.